Monster - C.J. Skuse

5+ Stars. This book really exceeded all my expectations. This one is magnificent, will give one goosebumps, will amaze people.

 



Welcome to the prestigious boarding school Bathory, which is (just like a lot of boarding schools) located in the middle of nowhere. Really, in the middle of nowhere, especially in the winter, when snow, storms, ice, will make roads unbelievably hard to cross. Which, believe me, with stuff that is going on in this book, isn't something you would want, at all.

Because there is a lot of stuff happening. The book kicks off right with the beast that lurks outside of the boarding school. Our main character, Nash, spots it during her training. Of course she is more curious than scared of it. Unlike everyone else who are absolutely terrified of the beast. The beast is a legend that has been going around for a long time, a legend that started when the school wasn't even a school. As you can imagine the beast creeped me out, but I was also really curious. Was the beast that bad? Was the beast truly that, a beast? Was it supernatural? Or just a big cat that is hunting for nom noms in the winter?
As the story progresses and we find out about the beast, about what it might be, about what it might do, I was getting more and more fascinated with it. The conclusion on the beast topic was really great and I was just cheering. I was right! I was right all along. :D

But the girls will have bigger fish to fry than just a big beast. We quickly find that out, as the book goes from boarding school + hints of romance + hints of drama to full-blown horror with blizzards and scary things happening outside. And the scary things that happened around the middle/end, wow, just wow. I never saw that one coming, at all. I won't spoil anything, of course, I want people to be surprised by what comes, but really, wow. That was just amazing and oh so creepy. I had goosebumps all over my body and I was just reading as fast as I could so I could find out how it ended.

There are various characters, from tiny little Tabitha to is-she-crazy-or-not Regan. I didn't like all of the characters. Dianna was particularly annoying and frustrating, and then we have Clarice, who I truly disliked. How she acted around kids, it was just disturbing, and I wanted to just lock her up and never let her come out again.
Maggie was truly my favourite character out of the side characters. She kicked ass, she wasn't afraid to tell what is up, and I just loved her antics. She was also truly a friend to our girl Nash.

Because poor poor Nash, her life isn't the easiest with all that happens in this book, her brother disappears in South-America, she is busy with running for Head Girl, she has countless of little jobs to do around the boarding school, and so so much more. At times I just wanted to hug the girl and tell her to just let it go for a bit. To just relax and enjoy her teenage years.
As the story continues she is one of the few who keeps her head in the right place. She kicks total ass and I loved her so much near the end. Though of course, I also felt really sorry for her. With the way the book ended.

The book is a real page-turner. Especially during the darker moments.

I also did like the romance in this one. It didn't feel out of place (I was a bit worried about that), instead it only added to the greatness.

Of course, now that I read the book, and looked back, I can see that there were hints here and there. Scattered like little crumbs. But you really have had to read the book to see them. Only now I see them, before I didn't have a clue. And I am happy with that. I know I don't always mind if the mystery is easy to guess, but with this book the element of surprise is just needed.

Would I recommend this book? Um, yes, hell yes! Are you looking for a dark boarding school story? Be sure to check this one out. :D

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/